in Augmented Reality, Niantic

Niantic, best known for Pokémon Go, revealed its upcoming Augmented Reality headset for outdoor use. Combine this with its super precise visual positioning system called Lightship VPS and you’ll get a glimpse of what the near future of a city-wide metaverse holds.

Niantic AR2 headset

Key insights on outdoor Niantic AR2 versus indoor VR/AR

  • Outdoor AR headsets might actually address three key critiques of VR
    • No more isolation of one user in a virtual world but possibly dozens of people digitally connected in the same physical space
    • No more confined indoor area that limits your movement in VR generally (albeit to prevent you from bumping into physical obstacles)
    • No more anti-social behavior (or at least less) since your attention span is not devoured by a small mobile screen anymore.
  • The realization of an actual metaverse in 2023 and the years to come is a big step closer with this promising device alongside with the Magic Leap 2 and upcoming Apple Reality (One) Glasses.
  • Last but not least: you need to look at the big picture when it comes to the metaverse, because that is where many technological concepts and developments come together, like:
    • today’s Digital Twin (DT) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies
    • tomorrow’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big(gest) Data platforms
    • futuristic advanced developments such as Quantum Computing

Exactly 6 months after Niantic’s launch of its Lightship Visual Positioning System (VPS) in May 2022, the metaverse company known for developing Pokémon Go now revealed its outdoor AR headset.

Niantic’s news announcement reads:

Building Real-World AR Software and Hardware with Qualcomm

The announcement also stated the following hidden gems:

We believe true AR will be best experienced on AR headsets made for the outdoors. (…)  Our VPS makes digital objects and creations exist and stay in real-world locations, like they would if they were physical objects. So if one person places a digital object, another person can discover it in exactly the same location. That means digital AR experiences are like the social interactions people have in the physical world

The press release even includes an interesting demo of the actual content (“gameplay”) seen with this headset:

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